Dear Annie

I have been married since 2008 and unfortunately there is no intimacy in our relationship at all. My husband is incapable of showing emotion. He is unable to compliment or give credit where credit is due.

When I broach the subject, his answer is â??Well, I come home, donâ??t I?â?

Always with the jokes. We have had two major moves (different countries) and unfortunately, since moving back to my home country, he has been unable to work. That is going on two years now.

His inability to show affection started long before this move

We donâ??t have children together, but I have two and I love being back here and near them. They are both grown. I am now working and saving to move back to the UK, as I canâ??t afford to support him here.

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However, I feel that I am giving up my family, to go back to his country and carry on in a relationship that I get nothing out of. I am very torn.

We get on well, as we just seem to muddle along

I wouldnâ??t say that I am madly in love with him, because that is something that needs to be kept alive during a marriage, but I would miss him if he were not around. We get on well, as we just seem to muddle along. Iâ??m 54 now and believe there is more to life.

I wish I had a crystal ball. Please give me some advice.
Kind regards
Shelley

Dear Shelley

Thank you for your letter. I checked my crystal ball this morning and can you believe it, the battery is flat! I am blaming Eskom’s load shedding.

The reality is that if we had a crystal ball we would neatly side-step all forms of potential trouble. We would never willingly be pursued by a lion, but then we would also never discover how fast we were able to run!

We go through things in life that we never dreamed we would have the courage to face. When we triumph, we discover that we have more courage and resolve than we dreamed possible

From reading your letter I can see that you are unhappy in your marriage – not because you’re with a cruel man – but rather because you are with a fairly sweet, but comatose man.

I guess the question you’d ask the crystal ball would be: “Will he ever wake up?”

It sounds like he was never Mr-wine-and-dine-honey-Iâ??m-home-with-roses kind of guy. Nonetheless, you saw something there and decided to marry him. Add stress or depression to a non-affectionate man and you may as well be living with a hologram.

The question to ask is: Does Mr Comatose want to wake up and how can you support him doing that?

If he hasn’t worked for two years he is probably feeling less than a man. Knowing that he is not making his wife happy will probably make him feel even worse and more of a failure.

Can you show him that you love and support him?

Can you have a conversation with him and help him understand that you choose to love him and support him and that you know how hard this season must be for him? Perhaps he is suffering from depression and needs professional help?

If you tell him that you miss him and long to be in his arms, rather than letting him know that you’ve measured him and found him wanting, you will be building his fragile ego rather than adding to his sense of failure.

If he is naturally not an affectionate man he is not going to become Mr Touchy-Feely overnight

If he feels loved by you, but realises that you feel unloved, he will hopefully be willing to learn to show you that he loves you in ways that are meaningful to you.

Clearly you have made some sacrifices to be with him. Hopefully he will realise this and work together with you towards mutual happiness.

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings
Annie